The Blog: Google Trends and SEO

Brady Was The First Google Trend 


Next time you are using search engines to attract business to your website, spare a thought for Carol Brady. Her name started it all, well kind of; one morning in April 2002, colleagues at Google noticed something unusual... 

Whilst looking through the search engine data from the night before, they came across a strange phrase that was surprisingly popular: "Carol Brady's maiden name". Who was this person and why were thousands of people so desperate to know her parents' last name?

Yet stranger, why had this search phrase peaked in popularity at five different times during the night in precise hourly intervals, each time, at 48 minutes past the hour?  

What they found would change the way human behaviour is understood forever. Carol Brady, it turned out, was a soap star. Her maiden name had come up as the answer for a question on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? - a popular quiz show of the time.

The five interspaced hourly surges had occurred at the times when the question was shown on the different U.S TV time schedules.

Carol Brady's maiden name was a glimpse into a realm of insight that search engine analysis would uncover: a new window into people's thoughts and feelings, appearing in real time across distinct geographic locations. Google trends had begun.

This information has a whole wealth of value for academics, politicians, marketers and businesses. Especially for SMEs who combine it well with Digital Marketing Tools like rankingCoach

Trend For the Right Search Terms For SEO 

What about the business value of this kind of information? With a little thought, it becomes easy to see how access to trends could be useful. For starters, it is a great tool for ensuring that SEO and SEM terms are up to date.

For example, an online smartphone store should note the decline of the term mobile phones. If the trend continues it may not be worth optimizing as a keyword, conversely, fewer people maybe optimizing this phrase so the volume to competition ratio may currently make it better value. 

Keyword tools like rankingCoach ensure you can find and evaluate the best keywords for your website. 

Google trends can also provide valuable information for businesses trying to decide which specific version of products to stock and push in digital channels:

The color yellow has become very fashionable in the last two years, and this is reflected in search results: with the term 'yellow t shirts' reaching a 15 year high last year. That's right, the last time yellow T-shirts were this popular, so was Lance Armstrong and his yellow wrist bands!


Trends for Long Tail Keywords

A savvy E-commerce website will incorporate popular adjectives into their long tail keywords and choice of stock. For example, right now might be a very lucrative time for the term: 'yellow Avengers T-shirt USA'.

Using rankingCoach keyword tools will help you find the right keywords by showing you their competitiveness and value for your site. Ensuring you get the best long tail. 

It is important to stock and optimize the right merchandise; judging from the reviews and search volume for tickets, users aren't too interested in 'Yellow X-Men  Dark Phoenix T-shirts'.

According to Google trends, the term 'Avengers Endgame' in late June, got three times the search volume of 'X-Men Dark Phoenix'  despite being released a full 6 weeks earlier. Considering the reviews and negative press this is only likely to get worse.

Now may be a good time for anyone who has bet on the wrong horse and stocked X-Men merchandise, to launch some special offers which are backed by Pay-per-click. This will have higher short term costs but quicker results, which will be vital for this merchandise as it will have lost most of its value by the end of the summer.

This is just scratching the surface on how search trends can be used as an indicator for marketing activities. In moments like this, when every minute counts, rankingCoach is very useful for setting up effective SEM campaigns in three simple clicks.


Pumpkin Local SEO

This information is equally useful for online stores trying to decide when to offer discounts on products with seasonal peaks and declines. Everyone knows that pumpkin sales drop dramatically after Halloween. Searches clearly mirror this demand. 

The Google trend for the term 'buy Pumpkins' from 2004 until now reveals another important development: many more people than 15 years ago, are now looking online for where to buy perishable goods from. This could be for online delivery or to find the nearest store. Either way, the internet is not just about selling merchandise and cheap phone covers. Even your nearest independent grocery store should be working on its Local SEO. 

Trends Show When for SEO & SEM 

Trends and search information can also be useful for businesses looking to find the best time to start a new marketing campaign. An online clothes shop  selling shorts in the UK would probably guess that the term 'summer shorts' gets its highest traffic in July.

However, one look at trends suggests that digital marketing activities should be well underway before April as the last 5 years of search data show a spike in searches for 'summer shorts' around this time, and SEO activities may take over a month to come into effect.

So there we have it. From an answer to a question on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? to an indispensable marketing tool for finding emerging keywords; judging when to start a digital marketing campaign; and a sure fire sign that it's time to start some SEM. Use Google trends with rankingCoach: the all-in-one digital marketing solution to get the very best out of your online business. Start your free trial now.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. For more information on digital marketing activities related to it, check out these blog articles:

Local SEO 

Long Tail Keywords

Picking The Right Keywords Rival


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